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Our Boone County Logo, Plan 2040



The Boone County Planning Commission would like to thank all of the organizations and individuals who participated in this update of the Boone County Comprehensive Plan.  The Planning Commission would also like to express its appreciation to former staff members Mitch Light (Assistant Zoning Administrator/Zoning Enforcement Officer) and Vinnie Fazzino (Zoning Enforcement Officer) for their contributions to this update.  Also, thanks to former Planning Commissioner and Long Range Planning/Comprehensive Plan Committee member Greg Breetz for his service during the formulation of this plan.



In February 2017 the Long Range Planning/Comprehensive Plan Committee decided to proceed with the public review, evaluation, and revision of the Goals and Objectives prior to the full analysis and update of the individual Elements of the Comprehensive Plan based on the results of the Review of Original Research.  On March 13, 2017, the Planning Commission sent information letters to 72 organizations and individuals who have been, or would likely be, involved in planning issues.  The letters asked for their participation and involvement in the update process, beginning with the Goals & Objectives.  In addition to the organizations and individuals, staff retained the services of Strategic Advisors in an effort to establish a social media presence to reach even more people than ever before as well as to assist in the creation, design, and maintenance of a web page ( where information during the update process was to be made readily available for public review and comment.  In March 2017 a series of “kick-off” events were presented at the March 6, 2017 City of Union Business Meeting, the March 6, 2017 Walton City Council Meeting, the March 21, 2017 Boone County Fiscal Court Meeting, and the March 28, 2017 Florence City Council Business Meeting.  During the course of 2017, several meetings were held with individuals and agencies seeking input regarding the Goals & Objectives which were ultimately adopted by the Boone County Planning Commission (October 4, 2017), the City of Union (December 4, 2017), Boone County Fiscal Court (December 5, 2017), the City of Walton (December 11, 2017), and the City of Florence (January 23, 2018).

On January 24, 2018 a kick-off workshop for the elements/chapters and land use maps was held in Burlington.  Draft elements and individual requests for changes were presented by staff at Long Range/Comp Plan Committee meetings throughout the year.  As elements were approved for public release by the committee, they were made available in digital form on the Plan 2040 website, where on-line comment forms were also posted.  Drafts of each chapter were made available for public comment throughout 2018 as follows: Demographics, Economy (May 2018), Environment, Natural & Cultural Resources, and Transportation (June 2018), Public Facilities (August 2018), and Land Use (December 2018).  Again, staff met several times during the year with agencies and individuals as the chapters were being drafted.

In January 2019, two (2) workshops were held to gather even more public comment on the drafts that had been made available during the previous 8 months.  The first was held in Burlington on January 17, 2019 and the second in Walton on January 22, 2019.  On March 20, 2019 the Long Range/Comprehensive Plan Committee agreed to enter a revised draft of all the chapters and maps as New Business at the April 4, 2019 Boone County Planning Commission Business Meeting and a Public Hearing was set for May 1, 2019 for an additional round of public review and comment.  The revised chapters and maps were published on the web page ( on April 4, 2019.

During the drafting of the 2017 Goals and Objectives and the elements of the Comprehensive Plan, the Long Range Planning/Comprehensive Plan Committee met 24 times.  All of these meetings were open to public attendance.  Numerous meetings were also held between staff and interested citizens and organizations throughout the process.  In total, nearly 100 meetings with agencies, individuals, and the Committee were held.  In addition to the required legal advertisements in the Boone County Recorder, posts were made by the Our Boone County – Plan 2040 Facebook group that drew nearly 1,300 followers and periodic newsletter e-mails were sent to the nearly 400 people who signed up during the update process.  Lastly, in order to satisfy KRS 100 and to promote regional planning, the Boone County Planning Commission has notified the following cities, counties, and planning units about the Our Boone County – Plan 2040 update:


Boone County (KY) Fiscal Court
Gallatin County (KY) Fiscal Court
Kenton County (KY) Fiscal Court
Grant County (KY) Fiscal Court
Grant County (KY) Planning Commission
Gallatin County (KY) Planning Commission
Hamilton County (OH) Regional Planning Commission
Hamilton County (OH) Board of Commissioners
Cincinnati (OH) Planning Commission
Whitewater Township (OH) Board of Trustees
Delhi Township (OH) Zoning Commission
Dearborn County (IN) Planning Commission
Switzerland County (IN) Planning Commission
Ohio County (IN) Commission
Lawrenceburg (IN) Advisory Plan Commission
Aurora (IN) Planning and Zoning
City of Florence (KY)
City of Union (KY)
City of Walton (KY)
City of Erlanger (KY)
City of Elsmere (KY)
City of Independence (KY)
City of Villa Hills (KY)
City of Cincinnati (OH)
City of Addyston (OH)
Village of North Bend (OH)
City of Rising Sun (IN)
City of Lawrenceburg (IN)
Planning & Development Services of Kenton County (PDS)
Kenton County & Municipal Planning & Zoning Commission
Northern Kentucky Area Planning Council
Northern Kentucky Area Development District (NKADD)
OKI Regional Council of Governments



The Comprehensive Plan is formulated from an extensive and continuing planning process. The process includes reconnaissance and analysis of data, the creation of a statement of Goals and Objectives, written elements (or chapters) on various subjects related to transportation, public facilities, land use, and other subjects affecting growth and development. These steps are described below:

The Reconnaissance portion of the plan is an inventory of existing conditions in Boone County. The Reconnaissance material is included within six planning elements. These are: Demographics, Environment, Natural & Cultural Resources, Economy, Public Facilities, and Transportation.

Goals and Objectives
The adopted 2017 Goals and Objectives for guiding preservation and development in the County are included in this document and are the basis for the remaining elements. They were developed and adopted by the Boone County Planning Commission and adopted by the Boone County Fiscal Court and the legislative bodies of the Cities of Florence, Union, and Walton prior to the writing of the remaining elements of the Comprehensive Plan.

Comprehensive Plan Elements
KRS 100.187 describes the required contents of a comprehensive plan as including chapters (or elements) in addition to the Goals & Objectives that address Land Use, Transportation, and Community Facilities (Public Facilities). This document meets those minimum requirements and also includes additional chapters not required but elements that will further serve the purposes of the comprehensive plan. The chapters included are as follows:

The Demographics element, a combination of the Population and Housing chapters in previous updates, describes the trends of the past, present, and projected population. Once this is achieved, a plan can be properly prepared to meet the needs of the population. By understanding the demographic makeup of a community, it becomes easier to identify needs and to provide opportunities and amenities that will not only attract new residents, but also retain current residents.  Furthermore, appropriate services, jobs, and housing opportunities at the county-wide level can be provided as well as in specific regions of the county.  This element assesses Boone County’s past, present, and future demographic profile and examine the existing housing supply and present a plan to meet future housing needs.

Environment is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “the circumstances, objects, or conditions by which one is surrounded” and “the complex of physical, chemical, and biotic factors (as climate, soil, and living things) that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its form and survival.” These amenities also provide additional, less visible qualities, such as cleaner air, recreational areas, and wildlife habitat that are important to a community. Boone County’s rural character attracts people to the county.  Agricultural land, woodlands, scenic valleys, streams, and hillsides are significant environmental resources.  Development has an effect on the physical and social environment of a community, and this can affect many of a community’s unique characteristics or qualities that its residents feel are important.  Therefore, development should preserve and promote an overall high quality of life while allowing an economic return.  This quality, which attracts many new residents, is often replaced by the development built to accommodate them.  This element is prepared from an environmental perspective and is to be used as one factor in determining the future land use of this plan.  This element establishes the fact that environmental impacts should be addressed up front rather than allowed to accumulate and therefore require much more expenditure in the future.

Natural & Cultural Resources combines three separate elements as they appeared in previous comprehensive plans including Recreation and Open Space, Agriculture, and Preservation. The importance of these resources cannot be understated and the need for them must be identified and accommodated as they contribute to the overall quality of life in Boone County. Active and passive recreation facilities and programs are needed to meet the changing demographics of Boone County.  Furthermore, as development continues, it is vital to document and preserve the existing natural features, cultural resources, agricultural lands (and related uses), and open spaces.

The Economy element, a combination of the ‘Economy’ and ‘Business Activity’ chapters from previous plans, describes Boone County’s current economic outlook as well as potential future development patterns. Characteristics such as labor force, employment levels, income, poverty, commuting patterns, the number and types of jobs are examined. This chapter also looks at ways to promote a vibrant, diverse, and sustainable economy by encouraging and incentivizing innovation and prosperity while at the same time, recognizing the value of the environment and developing in a way that is compatible with surrounding land uses. Identifying and understanding these factors are vital in creating an atmosphere for long-term, sustainable economic growth in Boone County.

The Public Facilities element discusses the public facilities and services within unincorporated Boone County and the Cities of Florence, Union, and Walton. Water distribution, sanitary sewage collection and treatment, gas and electric supply, municipal/public services, education, health care, and public communications are the services discussed. This element presents current data and provides insight into future expansion of these services in order to provide safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible public services and facilities for all residents and businesses.

The Transportation element discusses the various modes of transportation used in Boone County. The Transportation System in Boone County is important because it allows for the movement of people and goods. This Element consists of the Boone County Transportation Plan, the CVG Airport Master Plan, Railroad and River Transport activities, and information about the Land Use/Transportation connection.

The Land Use element is the culmination of the preceding six elements of Our Boone County – Plan 2040. The Land Use element recommendations (both text and maps) are based upon the specific data and recommendations of the preceding elements of the Comprehensive Plan. Compliance with the other elements of the Comprehensive Plan will result in the development or preservation of Boone County as specified in the Land Use element.  The Land Use element includes development guidelines which relate to key development and preservation concerns:  utilization of existing vegetation and topography, development layout/lot sizes/setbacks, buffering, landscaping, stormwater management and erosion control, access management, transportation, pedestrian network, design, signs, and historic preservation.  Both the text and accompanying maps are consistent with each other, and both provide a written and graphic documentation for future development and preservation of Boone County in a 20-25 year planning horizon, more specifically, to the year 2040.  In this element, the 2017 Existing Land Use and the 2040 Future Land Use classifications are explained.  The text of the Land Use element further details the impact of the other elements on the land area in Boone County.  Both the text and maps of the Land Use element assure that the Our Boone County – Plan 2040 is a guide for the future growth, development, and preservation of Boone County, Kentucky.

Flow chart, where each section leads to the next section, and the final goes back to the first section. The sections read: Reconnaissance & Data Collection, Goals & Objectives Formulated, Elements/Chapters Formulated, Land Use Text/Maps Formulated, Adoption of Comprehensive Plan, Review of Zoning Regulations, Review of Subdivision Regulations, [back to Reconnaissance & Data Collection and repeats] The Comprehensive Plan was developed through a multi-stage process designed to integrate the 2017 Goals and Objectives and to create consistency between the various elements of the Comprehensive Plan.  The Reconnaissance material provided the foundation for the Comprehensive Plan.  From the conditions of the County, as outlined in the Reconnaissance, Goals and Objectives were formulated for each of the elements.  The Reconnaissance and the 2017 Goals and Objectives in turn set the direction for the recommendations contained in the Comprehensive Plan elements.  The final step in the Comprehensive Plan’s multi-stage process is the Land Use element which consists of text and a series of maps.  The provisions of the previous six elements are represented spatially and in detailed written form to project the County’s land use by the year 2040.  The 2017 Goals and Objectives of the elements are also considered in the remaining Land Use element.  The Land Use element is also developed in preparation for its chief implementation tool, the Zoning Regulations, to which there is a sufficient degree of consistency.  The update of the Zoning Regulations begins immediately after adoption of the Comprehensive Plan and then an update of the Subdivision Regulations follows before returning to the Comprehensive Plan review process in a 5-year repeating cycle.

The process is continuous and evolving, as the Comprehensive Plan is re-evaluated periodically to respond to changing conditions. The Boone County Planning Commission is the public body charged with initiating and overseeing the comprehensive planning process in Boone County. The success of the process is largely dependent on those public agencies and bodies who can implement the plan through their day-to-day decision-making activities.  Success is also dependent on the cooperation of the citizens of the community and developers who respect the Comprehensive Plan’s intentions and seek to improve the Comprehensive Plan in accordance with changing community policies, goals, and objectives.  While this document is the statement of a plan at one point in time, its full value will be in its flexibility to respond to changing conditions and its evolution within the context of a continuing comprehensive planning process.


Charlie Rolfsen, Chairman (Florence)
Kim Patton, Vice-Chairman (Boone County)
Kim Bunger, Secretary/Treasurer (Florence)
Steve Turner, Temporary Presiding Officer (Walton)
Randy Bessler (Boone County)
Corrin Gulick (Boone County)
Steve Harper (Union)
Lori Heilman (Florence)
Mark Hicks (Boone County)
Janet Kegley (Florence)
Rick Lunnemann (Florence)
Don McMillian (Walton)
Ed Mentz (Florence)
Bob Schwenke (Boone County)
Bradley Shipe (Boone County)


Bob Schwenke, Chairman
Mark Hicks
Janet Kegley
Kim Patton
Steve Turner


Kevin P. Costello, AICP – Executive Director

Planning Services Division
Robert A. Jonas, AICP – Director, Planning Services
Matthew E. Becher, AICP – Rural/Open Space Planner

Zoning Services Division
Kevin T. Wall, AICP CDT – Director, Zoning Services
Todd K. Morgan, AICP – Senior Planner
Michael Schwartz – Planner
Robert Krebs – Zoning Enforcement Officer

GIS Services Division
Steve T. Gay, GISP – Director, GIS Services
John N. Harney, GISP – GIS Systems Administrator
James S. Horton, GISP – GIS Data Specialist
Jack C. Phillips – GIS Support Specialist
Shannon P. Spears – GIS Data Technician

Administrative Services Division
Treva L. Beagle – Manager, Admin. Services
Sara L. Smith – Administrative Assistant
Ronica Wuest – Staff Assistant

Dale T. Wilson – Legal Counsel
Jonathan Brown, P.E., P.L.S. – Engineer & Surveyor